For a long time I felt very stressed by the news and images that flood my newsfeed on Facebook. I rarely post any comments or even post anything about it. I am not blind to their plight but I feel very uncomfortable of it. But it felt like I was not making a stand and that to me was even worse.
For the past several weeks, I have been posting pro-Palestine articles and images on Facebook. More and more that discomfort was leaving me. I pulled the courage to really look at the images and read the articles. I do not want to remain annoymous with my feelings anymore.
But when I encounter status post updates from friends who says that they are pro-Israel, I try to reflect on what is going on. It would be easy to just unfriend them for that reason alone. Yet I have to also consider that these people are good people who offered their friendship to me and they are people I also admire. Does this make me a hypocrite now? Does this mean I am biased? If I am such a staunch Palestine supporter, how come I am still connected with these people?
It is easy to allow emotions to get in the way. It is easy to just counter status them with I AM PRO-PALESTINE and ALL PRO-ISRAEL ARE IDIOTS. I do not believe that kind of behavior or mentality will promote any understanding. It will only breed discontent and even worse.
Islam ALLOWED EVERYTHING EXCEPT WHAT IT HAS SPECIFICALLY FORBIDDEN. One of the things that it has explicitly forbidden is GENOCIDE and TERRORISM. It's a no-brainer. It's very logical. It's that simple. People through the ages have tried to twist the truths around the Qur'an but failed.
Islam became widely spread through EDUCATION. Islam was lead by good example, not by the sword as some people continue to mislead others into believing. There is so much importance given on education that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that the ink of a scholar is holier than the blood of a martyr. The first word of the Qur'an ever revealed to the Prophet was "Iqra" which means Recite, Read. That alone should emphasize the great importance of being properly educated. To learn things to improve one's life in this world to gain the bounties of the Hereafter. It is also that education that remains to be one of the strongest foundations as to why Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.
I am not able to go to Gaza due to financial reasons and safety. I am sure that a lot of Pro-Israel individuals also are unable to make the trip to show their solidarity for the same reasons as those who are Pro-Palestine like I am. So all we can do is support our choices in whatever way we can with the hopes that they will make a difference in the lives of those whom we care about.
For them to make a stand is their choice as I have openly made a stand about mine. The violence that is gripping in that country is more than we can imagine and hope we never have to experience for ourselves. Perhaps knowing where each of us stand should be enough to make a point. If Israel cannot exercise tolerance and refuse to co-exist with Palestinians and vice versa then my being intolerant of my friends' opposite views make me no different than a monster. If I am going to cultivate hate and promote ridicule to those who do not share my views then I am just as ignorant and terroristic with my ideals.
This is NOT what Islam teaches. Education is key. I will not stop posting articles and images that reveal the plight of the people's suffering. I will not stop praying for their safety, patience, survival and justice reach them. Nothing in this world is random. Everything has a purpose. There is wisdom in everything if we only have the patience to see it. I believe that spreading information will educate and touch the hearts and minds of those who need it. All we can really do is spread it as much as we can.
Guidance only comes from Allah and only He can choose whomever He wants to guide to the Straight Path. It is not up to us. It never was up to us. We tend to underestimate His Divine Power and Knowledge. We sometimes pray to Him like we are ordering takeout. We negotiate with Him like we would in a flea market. We are so full of ourselves and think we know better. We tend to forget that even if we stretched our minds so far and wide that it would still be encased within creation. It could never be outside of creation because WE ARE PART OF THE CREATION. WE ARE NOT THE CREATOR. We forget that Allah is outside of the creation. He has no beginning nor end. We do. We are so arrogant and that has always been our downfall. We tend to keep repeating history over and over. Some of the lessons already learned, we insist on unlearning them to prove a point. It's repetitive. We are too stubborn to realize our own faults so we tend to project them to others and worse blame God for our deeds. That's the BEST we can do. Blame. Blame. Blame. We remain stuck in a loop of our own blind stupid ego.
It is that blind stupid ego that we ought to be overcoming. This is the true struggle, the true Jihad. The battle within ourselves. Not genocide. Not quote the Qur'an out of context and make a bizarre interpretation of it. How many people have done that for centuries only to be exposed in the end? History teaches us that war never benefitted anybody nor anything. We are all losers. Yet people insist that war is the only way to get all the answers. Never realizing that the battle isn't out there but simply within us.
So I refuse to allow my ego to override my senses and disown friends and family who do not share my sentiments as the enemy. Shouldn't I be calmer and in control of my feelings more at this kind of situation? I will worsen the situation by declaring war at friends and family. What will that gain? Yes, it is natural for us to panic and worry but we cannot stay in that state too long because nothing gets done. We should try not to react to things out of sheer panic and worry because we throw logic and common sense out of the window. Understand that there is a Higher Power who really is in control of creation. The Master of all systems of knowledge.
This is not easy. It will take a lot of patience and tolerance on my part to be more understanding. Allah has given us everything we need to live in harmony with others, why complicate it with misunderstanding? It is easier to promote education and information rather than hate. Hate can consume us. Education enlightens us. I believe in that. I believe that peace will ultimately prevail. I believe there is a wisdom as to why this is happening in that part of the world. I believe that only God can change all things. Not humans. We make a mess of things all the time. We keep repeating ourselves. We think chaos will put things in order. No! Being at peace is what put things in order. God knows exactly what He is doing. We cannot even fathom His Infinite Knowledge. It is impossible. What we can do is believe in Him and trust His Way. If we can do just that then none of this mess would have happened in the first place.